Blenheim Horse Trials 2018

This morning I had my first trip to Blenheim Horse Trials. I love Blenheim Palace but have never been to the horse trials before so was very excited to plan a trip to watch the dressage on my day off.

The Shops

After my serious window shopping at Burghley I wasn’t too bothered about mooching around the shops too much and there weren’t as many however I did come across Emily Cole Illustrations’ stand. I’ve seen her work around the internet but never knew her name.  I would highly recommend checking out her website.

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I have put a print of her picture of a skewbald pony amongst cows firmly on my birthday list!

The Food

I indulged in a cheese, chicken and pesto toasted sandwich (in the interests of avoiding chips for once) which was rather underwhelming and may have had to get some rocky road to make up for it! The food and drink stalls were all pretty quiet today – the beauty of dressage day!

The Action

Unfortunately I couldn’t afford to stump up for grandstand tickets but it wasn’t the end of the world, I spent some time by the CCI*** warm up and was able to see the tests from a far without too much movement. I also spent quite a lot more time by the CIC*** arena where I got a bit closer to the action. It was interesting to see people’s different approaches to warming up, long or last minute, alone or with help.  I was reassured by the fact that even Pippa Funnell had assistance and worries when warming up. It really made me realise that even the most talented, top riders are real people too!

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I also managed to catch the ROR display team who did an excellent job considering more than one of them was finding the whole experience a bit much!

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I saw the lovely horses from ‘A Bit On The Side’ who are a side saddle group coming back from a hack (astride!). It is a shame they weren’t doing their demo today as I have enjoyed having a go at side saddle in the past and would have liked to see it.  Can you tell why I liked them so much?

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The Setting

Blenheim Palace and it’s grounds are just gorgeous – I think their bridge beats Burghley!

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The Experience

I love going to big events on dressage day – not only is dressage the discipline I am most interested in but it is quieter!  I certainly felt less vulnerable than I did trying to negotiate the crowds at Burghley.. apart from when I got stuck climbing over a rope whilst eyeballing Ben Hobday who was walking the course!  I loved having a proper camera (for the first time ever) but felt rather self conscious of all the snapping – I now need to get a longer lense so that even when I’m not able to go into the main arena I can still get good shots!

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